WILL WORSHIPPER

free choice

Grant Swart

Why this article?

“Will worship” and “will worshippers”. Terms I use on occasion when I write on certain aspects concerning the subject of the salvation of the sinner. It is imperative that followers of Jesus Christ understand Biblical teaching of how salvation of the sinner is accomplished, in order for them to impart the truth of the Gospel to all who would believe in Him and have everlasting life. It is our duty, and it is so because the Word of God instructs us in that matter.

Salvation can either be brought about by the effort of the sinner, or by means of a co-operation between the sinner and God, or it can be by the will and grace of God alone.

Eternal life, or eternal damnation. The biblical comprehension of this matter is ultimately important, because the means by which the sinner attains salvation (eternal life / spiritual life beyond physical death), could be determined either by a subservient God who is reliant upon the actions and decisions of the sinner, or by a sovereign God who acts independently from the eternally damned sinner whom He saves. Theological expressions for these two opposing viewpoints are “synergism” and “monergism”, but I will leave that to remain of academic interest for now, as there are other factors which would need to be included, were we to proceed along that route.

My employment of the terms “will worship” and “will worshipper”, is of course by no means unique to my writing, as there are other esteemed writers who made use of the same terms long before I did. I use the terms with specific intent, because they accurately describe the belief system of those who oppose the biblical doctrine of salvation by the grace of God alone, and who uphold the heresy that salvation is in part or in totality, reliant upon human will, works or values.

I use the terms to describe those who cling to and proclaim the pride-filled heretical and impossible notion, that salvation of the spiritually dead sinner is dependent upon a decision made by that same spiritually dead sinner, powered by his own over-valued understanding of free will and imaginary ability. Continue reading

The Sovereignty of God By Don Fortner

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“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places.”  With these words David declares the sovereignty of God and calls for us to give him praise. ( Psalms 135:6 )

There are no attributes of God more comforting and delightful to his children than his great and glorious sovereignty.  Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, and when enduring the most heavy trials, we rejoice to know that our God has sovereignly ordained our afflictions; that he sovereignly overrules them, and that he sovereignly sanctifies them to our good and his own glory.  Every believer rejoices in the sovereignty of God. There is no truth of Holy Scripture for which we must more earnestly contend than God’s dominion over all creation, his sovereignty over all the works of his hands, the supremacy of his throne and his right to sit upon it.

God’s saints rejoice to hear him say, “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” (Matt. 20:16).  Nothing is more comforting to God’s saints in this world than the knowledge of the fact that “Our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Ps. 115:3).  We rejoice in God’s sovereignty!  But there is nothing revealed in the Bible that is more despised by worldlings and self-righteous religionists.  Natural, unregenerate, unbelieving men and women are happy enough to have God everywhere, except upon the throne of total, universal sovereignty.  They are happy to have God in his workshop, creating the world and naming the stars.  They are glad to have God in the hospital to heal the sick.  They are pleased to have God in trouble, to calm the raging seas of life.  And they are delighted to have God in the funeral parlor to ease them of pain and sorrow.  But God upon his throne is, to the unregenerate man, the most contemptible thing in the world.  And any man who dares to preach that it is God’s right to do what he will with his own, to dispose of his creatures as he sees fit, and save whom he will, will be hissed at, despised, and cursed by this religious generation.  Be that as it may, it is God upon the throne whom we love, trust, and worship.  And it is God upon the throne that we preach. Continue reading

A blasphemous church serves a generation of religious liars

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Grant Swart

We live in a generation which is certainly under God’s judgement, if you care to pause for a few moments and ponder the general state of the society in which we now live, I’m sure that much will become quite evident. Of course, those who are of the world, who are happy to be embroiled in pursuing wealth, health and prosperity and all kinds of ways to proving their own self-righteousness and personal value before God, will not recognize the fact that they are under that very same judgement.

Never before have materialism, humanism, pride and self-worth been so prominently at the forefront of man’s thinking and priorities. Almost every marketing strategy, campaign and advert appeals directly to the will, over-inflated importance and vain pride of man. No other singular concepts have ever been as sharply focused on, as human rights, vanity and the deceitful ideology of human democracy are, in our generation.

This same critique must be leveled at the marketing done by many “churches”, the bulk of which are at great pains to take their particular brand of will-worship or church tradition to the lost multitudes of the world. The grossly erroneous interpretation of true church growth, cleverly disguised as “spiritual revival”, is one which interprets that the greater the number of misguided people who respond to these highly effective sales ploys is, the greater the tacit approval of God must be for their brand of faith or for their particular efforts. It is God who adds to His church, not pastors, synods, committees, councils, conferences or the efforts of individuals or congregations. Continue reading

The Flattering Tongue

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Flattery is to compliment excessively and often insincerely given, especially in order to win favor.  Sincerity is sorely lacking in human relations today.  Flattery or sweet talk, which is another way that the tongue can be used for evil. People flatter continually starting from home to workplace. In the work place and offices people continually involved in internal politics and flattering in order to seek favour or, to get promoted to higher level.

Flattery is also a sin of the tongue. The Bible speaks of flattery as a characteristic of the wicked and of a sinful person. People from different walks of life trying to keep a record of the flattering speeches and conversations. Flattery is just a form of lying, and it has no place in the life of a Christian. It is an another produce of the misuse of the tongue.

He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery,
(Daniel 11:32-34 ESV)

We are encountering people with flattering nature everywhere, speaking something before us and contrarily with others, in other occasions, in order to please others or to fulfil their self-centred wishes. Continue reading

Salvation is of the LORD!

Jonah 2 ; 9

Salvation is of the Lord!

Jonah 2:9

“Salvation” is a big word. It includes much more than a believer’s initial experience of grace in regeneration and conversion. It includes everything required to bring fallen men from the pit of the damned into the eternal presence of God’s glory in heaven. And, from first to last, it is the work of God’s free grace alone. Man does nothing. Man contributes nothing. Nothing is determined by or dependent upon the will of man or the works or worth of man. “Salvation is of the Lord!

All True Doctrine

This is the essence of all true doctrine. Continue reading

When God’s Providence And Security Are Just Not Enough

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ARMINIANISM wrests Scripture to teach that it is possible for the true believer to fall from the grace of salvation (Gal. 5:4); and that each believer is provided with sufficient ability to persevere and preserve himself, if only he will: (“And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.” John 5:40). It all depends on the choice of man’s will, whether he will persevere or not. (This denies everything thus far so irrefutably declared!) The error continues: Continue reading

Arminianism Agrees With Roman Catholicism, Calvinism Agrees With The Bible

road to rome

Arminianism at Home in Rome

But, however frivolous his cavils, the principles for which he contends are of the most pernicious  nature and tendency. I must repeat, what already seems to have given him so much offence, that Arminianism “came from Rome, and leads thither again.” Julian, bishop of Eclana a  contemporary and disciple of Pelagius, was one of those who endeavoured, with much art, to gild the  doctrines of that heresiarch, in order to render them more sightly and palatable. The Pelagian system,  thus varnished and paliated, soon began to acquire the softer name of Semipelagianism. Let us take a  view of it, as drawn to our hands by the celebrated Mr. Bower, who himself, in the main, a professed  Pelagian, and therefore less likely to present us with an unfavourable portrait of the system he  generally approved. Among the principles of that sect, this learned writer enumerates the following:

“The notion of election and reprobation, independent of our merits or demerits, is  maintaining a fatal necessity, is the bane of all virtue, and serves only to render good  men remiss in working out their salvation, and to drive sinners to despair.

“The decrees of election and reprobation are posterior to, and in consequence of, our  good or evil works, as foreseen by God from all eternity.”

Is not this too the very language of modern Arminianism? Do not the partizans of that scheme argue on the same identical terms? Should it be said, “True, this proves that Arminianism is Pelagianism revived; but it does not prove, that the doctrines of Arminianism are originally Popish:” a moment’s cool attention will make it plain that they are. Let us again hear Mr. Bower, who, after the passage just quoted, immediately adds, “on these two last propositions, the Jesuits found their whole system of grace and free-will; agreeing therein with the Semipelagians, against the Jansenists and St. Augustine.” The Jesuits were moulded into a regular body, towards the middle of the sixteenth century: toward the close of the same century, Arminius began to infest the Protestant churches. It needs therefore no great penetration, to discern from what source he drew his poison. His journey to Rome (though Monsicur Bayle affects to make light of the inferences which were at that very time deduced from it) was not for nothing. If, however, any are disposed to believe, that  Arminius imbibed his doctrines from the Socinians in Poland, with whom, it is certain, he was on terms of intimate friendship, I have no objection to splitting the difference: he might import some of his tenets from the Racovian brethren, and yet be indebted, for others, to the disciples of Loyola. Continue reading

The Matter of Church Discipline

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The Matter of Church Discipline

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Mat_18:15-35)

In this passage our Lord and Savior anticipates two things. First, he anticipates the fact that differences would arise among his disciples, causing offenses. It is a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless, that God’s people in this world are sinners still. We love one another; but those who are the objects of our most ardent love are the very people we are most apt to offend. The offenses are excuseless. We ought to exercise great care not to offend. But offend we do. What husband, wife, son, or daughter has not wept bitterly after needlessly offending one in the family dearly loved? Paul and Barnabas were both brethren, faithful servants of God. But they had a falling out over John Mark. Yes, God’s people, true believers, often trespass against one another. Continue reading

TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION

truth-is-still-truth

Grant Swart

I pray that it is my humble and heartfelt intent to write concerning an earnest directive which believers have been given, and that is, to truthfully pass on to those who do not know the Lord, the liberating and glorious facts concerning the means of salvation which the Gospel proclaims. When we consider all which constitutes the doctrine of salvation in the Gospel, it is impossible to disentangle it from the truth about God, the truth about men, the truth about sin, and the truth about Christ.

So often today the word “salvation” is used in very loose terms, ascribing to it many man-centered, phony ideas and fanciful doctrines which sound reasonable and very appealing to man’s conscience and which man readily accepts. Many of these are simply intended to soothe man’s guilty conscience, and leave him with a false comfort that man himself remains the ‘captain of his soul’ and in control of his eternal destiny. However, biblical truth about salvation is that man is not in any position to determine or secure his own salvation, by means of a decision or by applying his will or effort.

One is not likely to hear from the mouths of most preachers, that man is hopelessly unable to choose to follow God, or to decide to allow God into his life. Contrary to what many billboards around our country proclaim, man cannot, and indeed will never want to, turn back to God, unless he has been called to do so by God. Continue reading

Why Don’t All People Come To Christ?

Turning away

Don Fortner

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Faith in Christ is set before us in many different ways in Scripture. Faith is looking to Christ. — “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22). — “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us” (Psalms 123:2). Faith is trusting Christ, as a son trusts his father. — “O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee” (Psalms 84:12). Faith is seeking Christ, as a man seeks something he has lost. Faith is laying hold of Christ, as a drowning man lays hold of a life-line. And saving faith is described in Scripture as coming to Christ. The Lord Jesus is able to save to the uttermost all them that come to God by him. Believers are described by Peter as a people coming to the Savior. — “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, andprecious” (1 Peter 2:4).

How often poor, needy sinners came to Christ, or were brought to him in desperate need, while he walked on the earth. And as often as a needy soul came to our omnipotent, ever-gracious, all-merciful Savior, he obtained the healing power and saving mercy he needed (Matthew 8:1-3; 9:1-8, 20-22, 18-26, 27-31). Salvation is obtained by coming to Christ. The Lord Jesus is able to save all who come to God by him. The Lord Jesus has promised that he will save all who come to him. (Matthew 11:28; John 6:37; John 7:37-38). And in the Gospel narratives every poor sinner who came to Christ obtained the salvation he sought.

In John 5:39-40 our Lord Jesus is talking to religious people, people who went to church every week, people who read and studied the Bible. He says, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” These were Bible thumping, conservative, religious, church going people, people who read, memorized, and studied the Word of God. Yet, our Savior said to these religious people, — “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Continue reading

Blinded By Satan

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INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, APRIL 16, 1893. DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, MARCH 31, 1889.

“The god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not.” 2 Corinthians 4:4.

THE practice of blinding men is a horrible process, too horrible for us to say another word about it, but there is also a spiritual blindness which comes upon some men. These are, to begin with, unbelievers. The god of this world does not blind Believers—but he blinds the minds of them which believe not. It is, therefore, a very dangerous thing not to believe on the Son of God. The penalty of unbelief is death and condemnation—and that penalty begins to fall on men when, in consequence of their unbelief, their foolish heart is darkened, their intellect loses the power to perceive spiritual ob-jects—and the god of this world blinds their mental vision. Ah, my Hearers, how anxious Satan is to secure your destruc-tion, since, rather than that you should see the saving Light of God, he takes the trouble to blind your eyes! God grant that no man here may die under this dreadful deprivation of Light which is caused by Satanic influence upon the minds of men who have not believed in Jesus!

Remember that this blindness to spiritual things is quite consistent with much sharpness as to natural things. A man may be a very keen politician. He may be a first-rate man of business. He may be an eminent scientist, a profound thinker and, yet, he may be blinded as to spiritual Truths of God. How often is it true, “You have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes”! As an old writer says, “Poor, ignorant men often find the door to Heaven and enter in, while the learned are looking for the latch.” Yes, a man may have clear eyes for worldly things. He may be very keen as to his insight into the problems of life and, yet, the god of this world may have blinded his eyes! Continue reading

Will There Be Degrees Of Reward In Heaven? Part 2

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Don Fortner

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away                                                                                                                                                                                                                      — Revelation 21:4

Will there be degrees of reward in heaven? This is a question around which there has been much controversy throughout the history of the church. Many men whose doctrine has been thoroughly biblical in other areas have been in grave error concerning rewards. I know that I will not settle the controversy surrounding this question in this brief study. That is not my purpose. It is my responsibility to teach those things which become sound doctrine and build up God’s elect in the faith of Christ, so that you will not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness!”

 

The issue by which this question must be settled is very clear. – Is God’s salvation, in its’ entirety, the work of his free grace in Christ, or is it not? If, as the Scriptures everywhere assert, our salvation is altogether the work of God’s free grace, if our works have nothing to do with it, and heavenly glory is but the consummation of that salvation, then there can be no degrees of reward in heaven[1]. Continue reading

Evil Came Down From The Lord

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Don Fortner

Evil Came Down From The Lord Audio sermon:

Sermon notes :

Let’s begin tonight by reading the 1st chapter of Micah’s prophecy together.

Micah 1:1-16 

The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot. Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem. Declare ye it not at Gath, weep ye not at all: in the house of Aphrah roll thyself in the dust. Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, having thy shame naked: the inhabitant of Zaanan came not forth in the mourning of Bethezel; he shall receive of you his standing. For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem. O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee. Therefore shalt thou give presents to Moreshethgath: the houses of Achzib shall be a lie to the kings of Israel. Yet will I bring an heir unto thee, O inhabitant of Mareshah: he shall come unto Adullam the glory of Israel. Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee.
(Micah 1:1-16 KJV)

UNIVERSAL MESSAGE

The singular object of Micah and of all prophecy was to prepare the way of the Lord. By the writings of His prophets the Lord God prepared His Church for the coming of Christ. Continue reading

Holding Fast The Faithful Word

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Don Fortner 

It is very easy and a very common thing to teach false, damning, heretical doctrine using only Bible terms. God’s servants faithfully expound the sense the Scriptures, giving out the message of God the Holy Spirit conveyed in the text from which they preach.

“Preach the Word!”

2 Timothy 4:2

Those who piously insist that we say exactly what God says in the Bible, no more and no less, prove themselves terribly hypocritical by the fact that they never follow the practice. Like heretical Campbellites, they refer us to a word, phrase, or statement in the Bible, and then explain their meaning in words totally contrary to that which God the Holy Spirit has stated in Holy Scripture.

Words are vehicles of communication. They express ideas. The ideas expressed by any use of words can only be determined by the context in which they are used. In preaching the gospel we interpret the ideas (the doctrine) conveyed in a passage in the light of its immediate context and in the light of the whole Volume of Divine Inspiration, and declare that doctrine honestly in the language of the people we address. When a man takes refuge in a pretense of using only the very words of Scripture, it is because he is either uncertain of the meaning of those words, or those words convey something he wishes to hide.

     “Holding fast the faithful Word,” as we have been taught by God the Holy Spirit, let every faithful gospel preacher boldly and confidently expound exactly what God says in the Bible, no more and no less,by sound doctrine,” “for there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” I say with Paul, to all who are responsible to proclaim the gospel of Christ, “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine,” for the time has come when men “will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” — Brethren, “PREACH THE WORD!

How Continue reading

Grace or Works ?

Grace or Works

By Donald S. Fortner

CULTS, SECTS, AND DOGMATISM

Acts 28:22

            When men cannot refute our doctrine, or choose not to pay the price of being decidedly committed to the message of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ, their only weapon is slander. One of the surest ways to raise suspicions about a preacher, a church, or a religious group is to refer to it as a “sect,” or a “cult.” That immediately congers up images of horror. This has been one of Satan’s ploys since the beginning. When the Jews came to visit Paul in prison, they said, “Concerning this sect, we know that it is every where spoken against.” Do not allow such slanders to scare you or make you feel uneasy in standing firm against the tide of human opinion. Let men call me sectarian, cultic, and dogmatic, or scandalize my name if they must. I rejoice to walk in the company of a great multitude, though scandalized and always in the minority in their day. Yet, I am not, in the least, daunted by the fear of standing alone against all the opinions of men. Here are three things I affirm with every fiber of my being. They are not rash, youthful, novice opinions, but the deliberate statements of thoughtful judgment and consideration. Continue reading